Getting started — general guidelines
The exercises described here can be done as soon as your doctor says it’s OK. Here are some things to keep in mind after breast surgery:
· You will feel some tightness in your chest and
armpit after surgery. This is normal and the
tightness will decrease as you do your exercises.
· Many women have burning, tingling, numbness,
or soreness on the back of the arm and/or chest
wall. This is because the surgery can irritate some
of your nerves. These feelings may increase a few
weeks after surgery. But keep doing your exercises unless you notice unusual swelling or tenderness. (If this happens, let your doctor know about it right away.) Sometimes rubbing or stroking the area with your hand or a soft cloth can help make the area less sensitive.
· It may be helpful to do exercises after a warm shower when muscles are warm and relaxed.
· Wear comfortable, loose clothing when doing the exercises.
– Do the exercises until you feel a slow stretch. Hold each stretch at the end of the motion and slowly count to 5. It is normal to feel some pulling as you stretch the skin and muscles that have been shortened because of the surgery. Do not bounce or make any jerky movements when doing any of the exercises. You should not feel pain as you do the exercises, only gentle stretching.
Dr. Karien Gouws University of Pretoria (DPhil)Biokinetics Suné du Toit University of Pretoria Ba(HMS)Hons(Biokinetics)